Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Spring Starflower
Ipheion uniflorum

Family: Alliaceae
Genus: Ipheion (IF-ee-on) (Info)
Species: uniflorum (yoo-nee-FLOR-um) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

19 members have or want this plant for trade.

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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Light Blue
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Winter/Early Spring
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

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Thumbnail #2 of Ipheion uniflorum by MOLLYBEE

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Thumbnail #3 of Ipheion uniflorum by Ulrich

By celtic_dolphin
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Thumbnail #6 of Ipheion uniflorum by celtic_dolphin

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There are a total of 22 photos.
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10 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive poeciliopsis On Feb 7, 2015, poeciliopsis from Phoenix, AZ wrote:

Central Phoenix -- Ipheion uniflorum was abundant in our yard when we bought the house in 1988. It is still present, although conversion of major areas to xeriscape has eliminated a lot of it. It does fine with the every other week summer water that keeps the Bermuda grass front lawn growing and is scattered throughout the lawn in full sun. It also still grows in a few watered beds. The foliage smells like onions when it is crushed.

Neutral vossner On Mar 17, 2013, vossner from Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I can imagine a blanket of these in a woodland setting but not in a regular cultivated garden--too weedy looking, IMO. I tried some but will plant no more. Instead, will focus on growing i. Rolf Fiedler, which is a showier blue and suitable for a residential as well as woodland setting.

Positive suguy On Mar 4, 2012, suguy from Simi Valley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A long-time favorite bulb of mine and harbinger of Spring here in Southern California.
It starts blooming in mid-February.

I grow the blue-flowered species (uniflorum), a white one (Albert Castillo) and Rolf Fiedler (an intense blue with bigger blooms).
All are super-easy and delightful.

They naturalize here and multiply every year.
You can't have enough of these.

Positive david3payne On Feb 21, 2012, david3payne from Lubbock, TX wrote:

Update from Lubbock, TX [elevation, 3250']
Microclimate! I transplanted one blooming clump
to the south-facing foundation of my neighbor's
house, ca. 2009. In January 2012, the clump was
in bloom in late Jan. and continued despite
snow and low temp. ca. 14F in early Feb.
Quite a color contrast with pink-flowering Oxalis!

Neutral htop On Mar 23, 2009, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant. Spring Starflower (Ipheion uniflorum) is an introduced plant that can be found naturalized in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Loiusiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

Positive eatmyplants On Mar 23, 2009, eatmyplants from Comanche county, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

I found these beautiful plants growing wild all along the banks of a creek. They are in full bloom now and have been blooming over a month. They are all growing in filtered shade and deep shade underneath trees, so full sun is not necessary. Some are almost white. They grow very shallow and transplant easily. I highly recommend them.

Positive dmj1218 On Oct 14, 2006, dmj1218 from west Houston, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

All the Ipheions and their related subspecies are native to South America (southern Brazil, Chili, and Uruguay) and are called Spring Starflowers. They are great naturalizing bulbs for Texas and the southern United States--but in Texas they should not be confused with either the Prairie Celestial Lily (Nemastylus geminiflora) or the Prairie Nymph (Herbertia lahue). These two species are both native to Texas and quite frankly very different with very obvious flower and bulb morphology differences from the Ipheions.

Ipheion uniflorum and other related Ipheon species bloom earlier in the season in my garden and have happily naturalized in areas with good drainage for 20 years. I love the Ipheions for their very early spring blooms!

All the Ipeion species are hardy, most are inexpensive, permanently naturalizing harmonious bulb species in the southern United States and if allowed reseed themselves will hybridize yielding very interesting color combinations.

Positive frostweed On Apr 12, 2005, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

This lovely flower was found growing at the Lady Bird Johnson wild flower center in Austin.

Positive tubaPERTL On Feb 20, 2005, tubaPERTL from Lubbock, TX (Zone 7a) wrote:

Ipheion grows on many lawns in semi-arid Lubbock, whether or not lawns are being watered. In my area, close to the Texas Tech Univ. campus, many homes have become rental properties for students. Walking the area in spring 2004, I was delighted to note many examples of Ipheion and Muscari.

Only in Fall 2004 did I notice the sprouting of the new season's leaves. I did not plant Ipheion, but thought the area
was the where I'd planted Chiondoxa. The Ipheion, apparently, is an heirloom along the west foundation of my
55-yr-old house. No problem with the 3 low for Dec 24/25.

Friday, a friend asked me about the "blue flower" around his grandmother's former residence -- one with leaves smelling of onions. Yes, Ipheion is an heirloom bulb over all central Lubbock!

Positive celtic_dolphin On Mar 6, 2004, celtic_dolphin from Boone, NC (Zone 4b) wrote:

I absolutely LOVE this flower! It multiplied from a mere 20 bulbs to hundreds in just three years! Some say it's invasive, but I say you can never have too many. It looked beautiful combined with Perrenial Candytuft and Grape Hyacinths in Zone 7. I'm in Zone 6 now and can't wait to see how well they do here.

Positive ladywelder66 On Jan 24, 2004, ladywelder66 from Norfolk, VA wrote:

This flower is a beautiful surprise down south when it pops up every spring in my grandmother's backyard. The bloom time is short but sweet. It looks better spreading all over a lawn, naturalized, because the foilage is so tiny, you don't notice it in your lawn the rest of the year.Great plant!

Positive Ulrich On Mar 18, 2003, Ulrich from Manhattan Beach, CA (Zone 11) wrote:

Has a scent like Violets.

Neutral killerdaisy On Aug 8, 2001, killerdaisy from Dallas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Blooms best when crowded. Hardy to zone 7, zone 5 with winter mulch. Snails and slugs can be problematic.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Mobile, Alabama
Phoenix, Arizona
Solgohachia, Arkansas
Citrus Heights, California
Fremont, California
Huntington Beach, California
Irvine, California
Long Beach, California
Los Altos, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California
Simi Valley, California
Stockton, California
Vallejo, California
Washington, District Of Columbia
Gainesville, Florida
Atlanta, Georgia
Lindsborg, Kansas
Louisville, Kentucky
Shreveport, Louisiana
Laurel, Maryland
Owosso, Michigan
Joplin, Missouri
Newton, North Carolina
Raleigh, North Carolina
Wilsons Mills, North Carolina
Painesville, Ohio
Ada, Oklahoma
Mount Hood Parkdale, Oregon
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Greenville, South Carolina
North Augusta, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Arlington, Texas
Austin, Texas
Clarksville, Texas
De Leon, Texas
Desoto, Texas
Garland, Texas
Houston, Texas
Lubbock, Texas (2 reports)
Nevada, Texas
Richmond, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Spring Branch, Texas
Wilmer, Texas
Norfolk, Virginia
Roanoke, Virginia
North Bend, Washington

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